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Animal genetics open to debate at events this summer

We’re taking our science on the road to discuss the potential of animal genetics and celebrate 100 years of animal genetics in Edinburgh.

Photograph of the Animal Breeding Research Department.
The Animal Breeding Research Department is in the origins of the Roslin Institute.

The Roslin Institute was established in 1993, however, its antecedents go back to 1919 and the establishment of the first University of Edinburgh Chair of Animal Genetics.

The Institute will be celebrating 100 years of animal genetics in Edinburgh by showcasing its current research in animal genetics with a programme of public and scientific events across Scotland and the north of England. Specifically we aim to use this anniversary to promote conversation and debate about the use of new genetic technologies in animal breeding to improve health and welfare.

The origins of The Roslin Institute

In 1919 the Animal Breeding Research Department was established at the University of Edinburgh and was later renamed the Institute of Animal Genetics, eventually leading to a cluster of new genetics research and institutions in Edinburgh after the Second World War, including the predecessors of the current Roslin Institute.

A collection of circular images representing work at The Roslin Institute including photos of animals and staff as well as microscope images.
We’re taking our science on the road to discuss the potential of animal genetics.

Animal genetics today

Current animal genetics research at The Roslin Institute aims to improve animal health and welfare using new genetic technologies to improve existing selective breeding practices.

Future implementation of genetic engineering technologies, alongside genetic research, means we now stand on the cusp of a new era of animal breeding, which could bring significant and rapid change in the way livestock are produced in the UK and worldwide.

Engaging with farmers and citizens

It is crucial that both the agricultural sector and the public are informed about current research and that their thoughts, including any concerns, are heard. A part of the Institute’s Animal Genetics Centenary Outreach Programme will be a survey to allow members of the public to share their opinions, hopes and fears about animal genetics.

This survey extends efforts to understand public opinion about genetics research, following a recent survey by Roslin scientists to gauge public opinion on gene-edited meat.

New genetic technologies offer exciting potential to improve the health and welfare of farmed animals, but before these can be implemented on the farm it is vital that we engage with the public. Our outreach programme aims to both inform and listen to public audiences, and we are looking forward to speaking to farmers and members of rural communities at events across Scotland and northern England.

Dr Nicola StockPublic Engagement Officer, The Roslin Institute

This summer we are bringing Roslin Institute scientists and engaging, accessible activities about animal genetics to events across Scotland and northern England. Visitors will have the opportunity to learn about animal genetics whilst having fun and asking questions directly to our scientists.

Dr Claudia AntoliniPublic Engagement Assistant, The Roslin Institute

Centenary of the Genetics Society

Coincidentally, 2019 is also the centenary of the Genetics Society in the UK. A joint scientific celebratory meeting will be held on 13-15th November 2019 in Edinburgh, including genetics-themed events for the general public and school pupils.

Animal Genetics Centenary Outreach Programme Events

27th May Northumberland County Show
22nd June Loanhead Gala Day
29th June Haddington Show
16th July National Museum of Rural Life
1st August Stewartry Agricultural Show
10th August Mid-Argyll Show
17th August Peeblesshire Agricultural Society's Annual Show
31st August Lairg Crofters Show
7th September Dalmally Agricultural Society Annual Show
28th September Eskdale Show

Related Links

Follow our activities on Twitter @roslininstitute #AG100!

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History of The Roslin Institute

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